Anna Karenina HTML version

Chapter I.13
After dinner, and till the beginning of the evening, Kitty was feeling a sensation
akin to the sensation of a young man before a battle. Her heat throbbed violently,
and her thoughts would not rest on anything.
She felt that this evening, when they would both meet for the first time, would be
a turning point in her life. And she was continually picturing them to herself, at
one moment each separately, and then both together. When she mused on the
past, she dwelt with pleasure, with tenderness, on the memories of her relations
with Levin. The memories of childhood and of Levin's friendship with her dead
brother gave a special poetic charm to her relations with him. His love for her, of
which she felt certain, was flattering and delightful to her; and it was pleasant for
her to think of Levin. In her memories of Vronsky there always entered a certain
element of awkwardness, though he was in the highest degree well-bred and at
ease, as though there were some false note--not in Vronsky, he was very simple
and nice, but in herself, while with Levin she felt perfectly simple and clear. But,
on the other hand, directly she thought of the future with Vronsky, there arose
before her a perspective of brilliant happiness; with Levin the future seemed
When she went upstairs to dress, and looked into the looking-glass, she noticed
with joy that it was one of her good days, and that she was in complete
possession of all her forces,--she needed this so for what lay before her: she was
conscious of external composure and free grace in her movements.
At half-past seven she had only just gone down into the drawing room, when the
footman announced, "Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin." The princess was still in her
room, and the prince had not come in. "So it is to be," thought Kitty, and all the
blood seemed to rush to her heart. She was horrified at her paleness, as she
glanced into the looking-glass. At that moment she knew beyond doubt that he
had come early on purpose to find her alone and to make her an offer. And only
then for the first time the whole thing presented itself in a new, different aspect;
only then she realized that the question did not affect her only-- with whom she
would be happy, and whom she loved--but that she would have that moment to
wound a man whom she liked. And to wound him cruelly. What for? Because he,
dear fellow, loved her, was in love with her. But there was no help for it, so it
must be, so it would have to be.
"My God! shall I myself really have to say it to him?" she thought. "Can I tell him I
don't love him? That will be a lie. What am I to say to him? That I love someone
else? No, that's impossible. I'm going away, I'm going away."